Whatever your travel preferences are, anyone will tell you that a comfortable pair of shoes is the first thing you need to pack. It’s easy to forget that our regular pair of sandals or flats is not necessarily the best choice when you’re heading for a week of city hopping in Europe or hiking in Hawaii. And when it comes to choosing a proper pair of footwear for your vacation, arch support is essential.
“As we walk on hard surfaces the repetitive stress causes micro tears in the ligaments that hold our joints in place. Over time, our joints might slip out of position and we have what is commonly known as a fallen arch,” explained Dr. Taryn Rose, founder and strategic advisor of her eponymous footwear company. “The micro tears happen over years, so people don’t feel any symptoms. Women often say ‘my feet grew as I got older’ and it is due to the arches of the foot flattening out over the years.”
That issue, also known as overpronation or flat feet, can lead to inflammation such as plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and heel spurs, according to Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, DPM. A supported arch will help to align the foot, resulting in better posture, pain- and stress-free movement, and, in general, fewer podiatrist visits down the line.
Or as Dr. Rose put it: “We have cars now with assisted driving but the vast majority of people still wear the shoe equivalent of the [Ford] Model T.”
So, if you are serious about your health, it’s time to update your closet with footwear that features built-in arch support. Trust us, your feet will thank you for it. Here, we rounded up 17 pairs that are not just comfortable but look cute, too.